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Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport names control tower after John McCain III

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport dedicated its new control tower this week, naming it after John McCain III, the late U.S. senator from Arizona. 

Gateway says its current air traffic control tower is too short and too small to efficiently handle operations at the growing airport. Building a new tower required a change in federal law, and the airport says McCain and Arizona’s Congressional delegation were critical in removing the federal funding cap for construction. 

Gateway’s new tower is almost 200 feet tall — that’s 60% taller than the existing tower. It’s also twice as big with room for eight traffic controllers. The $30 million tower enters service this Saturday. 

In a press release, Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson, who chairs the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority, said, "Completion of the John S. McCain III Air Traffic Control Tower is the culmination of years of hard work and determination by our local, state, and federal leaders. This bipartisan effort will help Gateway Airport continue to grow and create high-wage jobs across greater Phoenix."

In late 2017, the Phoenix City Council unanimously voted to name Terminal 3 at Sky Harbor International Airport the John S. McCain III Terminal 3.

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.